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Pakistan press for Windies to keep tour promise

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    Pakistan press for Windies to keep tour promise

    Pakistan has asked the International Cricket Council (ICC) to intervene and convince West Indies to undertake a scheduled tour early next year, an official said on Thursday.

    ``We have written to the ICC and have asked them to use their good offices to convince the West Indies to go-ahead with next year's tour to Pakistan,'' Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) director Munawwar Rana told Reuters from Lahore.

    West Indies, who are scheduled to visit Pakistan in February and March 2002, have instead decided to host India at the same time.

    West Indies also cancelled a visit to Pakistan in 1999 because the timing of the tour clashed with their domestic one-day competition.

    The men from the Caribbean had been scheduled to tour Pakistan under the ICC's five-year test championship programme, to which all national cricket boards are signatories.

    The programme was devised to allow all 10 test teams to play each other on home and away basis.

    ``We want the ICC to make West Indies remember the five-year plan and force them to follow it,'' Rana said.

    ``We have been forced to write to the ICC because the West Indies have not responded to our letter we wrote in March,'' he added.

    West Indies last toured Pakistan at the end of 1997 and suffered their first whitewash in more than 50 years, losing the test series 3-0. Pakistan made a return visit to the Caribbean last year.

    Pakistan fear significant financial losses if the series against West Indies does not go ahead. Pakistan said they lost more than $15 million when India refused to cross borders for a scheduled tour last year.

    Under the five-year ICC programme, Pakistan are committed to host New Zealand in September-October this year and then tour Bangladesh for two tests in January next year.

    If West Indies do not make the trip, Pakistan's next assignment under the five-year programme will be a home series against Australia in September-October 2002.

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